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Fell and landed on left hip. Severe bruising in lower part of leg and a large whelp. Swollen and numb. Is it just a severe bruise?

Apr 2013
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2009
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HI, I fell off my mule on 15th. I landed on my left hip and had a severe bruise which is healing nicely however my right leg hit my left foot when I fell and I have severe bruising to the entire lower part of my leg below the knee and a large whelp 2" or so below the knee. My leg is still very swollen and I have a lot of numbness where the bump is. I can weight bear on the leg and do not think it is broken. Do you think it is just a severe bruise?
Posted Tue, 29 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:
Yes,it looks like severe subcutaneous bruise which should pass in few weeks or you can use some heparin gel to facilitate this process of hematoma absorption.
It seems like there was some bigger vein that broke in subcutaneous tissue.
However, sometimes there can be muscle rupture or bone breakage especially if you have pain while moving leg(if so,you should do xray scan and ultrasound).
Numbness is also worrying,it can indicate nerve or vessel compression by this oedema and in some cases it can lead to compartment syndrome. If leg turns pale,swollen,lost pulsatility and you are not able to move it,you should go to ER ASAP! this may indicate acute compartment syndrome which is very serious condition.
If you dont have these symptoms then just keep your leg elevated,apply some ice compresses and elastic compresses, rest and take antiinflammatory painkillers.
If there is no improvement after 1 more week, you should do ultrasound to evaluate leg blood flow and check your blood to rule out clotting disorder.
Wish you good health. IF you have any questions I ll be glad to help. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Fell and landed on left hip. Severe bruising in lower part of leg and a large whelp. Swollen and numb. Is it just a severe bruise? 1 hour later
Thank you! I have been using arnica gel and advil for the swelling. You mentioned trying some heparin gel where do you find this? Wal-greens? I use ice and have been trying to keep it elevated of course I am working still so this is difficult. I am concerned about all of the bruising that has gone down into my foot along with the swelling. Should I be taking aspirin instead of advil for clots? Also below the bump I experience a pain that is best described as a bee sting along with the numbness that I have. This pain is most severe when I stand and the blood starts flowing down my leg again. Is it possible with a fracture to be able to stand on the leg? Perhaps a bone chip? If this be the case what would be done?
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 22 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
It doesnt sound to me like pain caused by bone fracture,it is more like pain caused by nerve and vessels pressure due to leg swelling. Fracture would be painful constantly and increased by movements of affected legs and by palpation of fractured area. I dont think that right leg fracture could happen by such mechanism unless you have osteoporosis or other bone disorder.(however it is possible). Also standing and walking would be painful, although in minor fractures(fissures) walking is possible.

From these photos, it looks like severe contusion with typical hematoma probably caused by partial muscle rupture or vene breakage and this is nothing serious. I know that people are always concerned since it looks more dramatical than it is. When such vein breaks than blood accumulates in subcutaneous tissue along legs to foot. this is very small amount of blood which is just very visible since it is right under the skin actually.

there is no need for aspirine,you should ask for heparine gel or topical heparine creams in pharmacy, I am not sure where can it be still found. Leg elevation is very important and you should rest and stand as less as you can since it aggravates swelling. You should just move your foot up and then for 20min per day while lying since it will stabilize blood flow in legs. Bone chips may occur if hit was direct in knee area.
Fractures and chips would be ruled out by xray exam so if pain persists it should be done or you can do it as soon as you can since this is simple diagnostic test.
In every case, it should improve on these measures in 4-7 days,if not, or pain and numbness progress,you need to visit doctor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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